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Aug. 21. Gathering: God doesn’t need worship

group of people raising hands silhouette photography

What images come to mind when you hear the word “worship?”

Is it stained glass, organ music, elaborate vestments, and rich wooden pews and altars? An auditorium with sound and light systems, massive video screens, a rock band, and tightly choreographed production?

Is it a quiet chapel with simple amenities, calming music, and candlelight?

Is it a wooded glade painted with dappled sunlight, the fragrance of green trees and wildflowers, silent except for the song of the wind in the trees and a babbling creek working its way down a mountainside?

Whatever forms our worship takes, our hope is that in some way or another we encounter the Divine. But does the Divine require us to worship? Or, to echo the words of Catholic theologian, priest, and author James Alison, does even God need our worship?

And if God doesn’t need our worship, why do we do it? Why has worship become the most central, most visible aspect of the life of our churches?

This week at New Wineskins we’ll continue our  summer series on Community & Connectedness by discussing the difference between authentic worship and emotional manipulation, and how worship is not something we do for God, but with God.

Our discussion-starter video this week from The Work of the People features Fr. Alison unpacking the ways group dynamics in worship can actually lead people further from the Divine than nearer, and how Jesus offers himself through the Eucharist in a non-controlling, non-coercive, fully cooperative, thoroughly relational invitation into life and freedom.

Join us This Sunday, Aug. 21, in our New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub for a conversation about worship, why we do it, and how our worship experiences make meaning in our lives.

*(Click here and enter your email address to preview this week’s video)

6:00pm EST: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EST: Presentation & conversation begin

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Feature image by Chad Kirchoff on Pexels.com

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